BM9403 - Business Analysis for Decision Making

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What will I learn on this module?

In this module, you will develop the knowledge and skills in applying a variety of quantitative data analysis techniques to support business decision making. You will be introduced to business modelling using appropriate analytical tools, and your learning will cover a range of techniques to help business forecasting and data presentation.
In this module you will be exposed to a range of data analysis tools and skills, including:

• Business Analysis and Modelling: management of complex and varied data sets; building spreadsheet models.
• Data Trends and Associations e.g. identifying relationships between business variables.
• Business Forecasting and Predictive Modelling – analysing factors and trends for business planning.
• Business and Dashboard reporting – consolidation, interpretation and presentation of data for professional output.
• Data distribution, data presentation and using summary statistics – handling a range of data for statistical analysis.
• Gaining an understanding of the overlap between business and research data and the selection of appropriate tools for management of both types of data.

Working with these analysis tools, you will learn to develop confidence in dealing with a wide range of data sets. You will become familiar with the role of modelling as an aid to problem solving and will build skills which enable you to interpret data and present your findings to a range of audiences. Very importantly, you will gain a good understanding of the crucial role that analysis of data and interpretation of results plays in the decision-making arena.

How will I learn on this module?

The one-hour weekly lectures will provide you with a theoretical underpinning for your learning, supported by two-hour weekly IT workshops which will give you an opportunity to practice the various analytical techniques, allowing you to build up a proficiency in the use of Excel spreadsheets and the necessary skills of interpretation and communication of findings. These workshops will be tailored to your programme of study through the practical examples set being linked to your subject discipline. You will be able to follow up on these lectures and IT workshops through a one-hour weekly webinar with the members of the teaching team and fellow students to reinforce both the practical and theoretical learning.

There will be several additional exercises located on the module's e-learning portal that will permit you to undertake further practice independently. The module has a supporting reading list that provides you with an opportunity to see how the various decision making and analytical techniques are applied to further managerial and research-based problems, as well as reference to a core text that will support your learning with further reading and practical examples.

Your directed study will support the work you have undertaken in the contact sessions. You will be expected to keep up-to-date with your IT workshop exercises. In addition, you will be set a selection of exercises to complete. To aid with self-assessment on progress, solutions to these exercises will be made available to you on the e-learning portal.

Independent learning time is set aside for learning activities, self-identified by you, to gain a deeper and broader knowledge of the subject. You may complete the review exercises, work with the electronic support tools (such as recordings of IT applications), attempt to complete past examination papers or undertake further reading.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Support will be provided to you by a member of academic staff leading the module and providing the lecture input. A team of academic staff are allocated IT workshop groups of about 20 students, which provides closer, more personal academic support. These IT workshop groups are typically based on study programme cohorts, so you will be taught here alongside fellow members from your specific programme. The final aspect of the direct contact support is a 1-hour weekly webinar, where students can link with the module tutor and other members of the teaching team to engage in question and answer sessions on the module materials and assessment brief.

Your module is supported by an e-learning portal, which hosts lecture materials, IT workshops exercises and data files, alongside assessment details and various support facilities such as recordings of certain lectures and IT applications, alongside other electronic support facilities such as the module reading list.

You will have a wide-ranging electronic reading list that comprises of various textbooks whose contexts will reinforce the lecture and IT workshop inputs, alongside academic reports, conference papers and journal articles that showcase the application of various quantitative techniques presented in the module.

The module assessment consists of several inter-related tasks which will be distributed throughout your teaching semester. This will encourage your active participation in the learning process throughout the semester. The e-learning portal will permanently host these tasks after release to ensure that you can always access the information required. Your work on these tasks will be the pre-work for a 2-hour unrestricted (open notes) examination at the end of the module.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• Understand a variety of introductory statistical techniques and their application to the analysis and interpretation of business data for a variety of organisational applications. [MLO1]
• Understand and demonstrate the role of modelling as an aid to decision making; through the selection of models and techniques to assist in the solution of business problems. [MLO2]
• Develop an understanding of how data analysis can inform business decision making [MLO3]

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment will be provided on an ongoing basis throughout the module, where feedback will be provided during the practical IT workshop classes relating to the activities being undertaken, with further support being provided by the posting of outline solutions to these exercises on the e-learning portal. Further formative feedback will be supported through posted recordings, particularly in the support of IT applications. The weekly webinar sessions are a further channel for formative feedback on both the theoretical and practical aspects of the module and on the tasks that underpin the summative assessment.

The summative module assessment consists of several inter-related tasks which will be distributed throughout your teaching semester. This will encourage your active participation in the learning process throughout the semester, thereby providing ongoing feedback on your understanding of the module content. The eLearning portal will be used to permanently host these tasks after release to ensure that you can always access the information required.

Your work on these tasks will provide you with further chance to practice the various areas of data analysis and modelling, as well as forming the pre-work for a 2-hour examination at the end of the module.

This examination forms the summative assessment and represents 100% of the module mark. It will be based on a set of short answer questions covering all the pre-work tasks completed and will be in an unrestricted (open notes) format.

This will assess MLO1, MLO2 and MLO3.

Pre-requisite(s)

None

Co-requisite(s)

None

Module abstract

The module will equip you to deal with analytical content in future study and employment – either in your work placement or graduate role –
with an appropriate level of understanding and proficiency of some commonly used analytical business applications. You’ll gain a theoretical
understanding of various business modelling and data-handling applications supported through practical, tutor-led workshops, including
quantitative data analysis techniques to support business decision making. The skills and tools identified for use in the module are based on
research and collaboration with a variety of businesses, making the data-handling and interpretative skills learned on this module directly
transferable to further study and working life. You’ll also be expected to read widely on the subject to aid your practical understanding and
you’ll be expected to work on a series of real-world tasks over the course of the semester in preparation for the final assessment.

Course info

UCAS Code N205

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 year sandwich
1 other options available

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2021

Fee Information

Module Information

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